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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 31.44°N
  • 140.051°E

  • 136 m
    446 ft

  • 284080
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Sumisujima.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Sumisujima.

Index of Monthly Reports

Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

10/1992 (BGVN 17:10) Small zone of discolored water

10/1992 (BVE 32) Discolored water with sulfur odor reported by fishing boat

Contents of Monthly Reports

All information contained in these reports is preliminary and subject to change.

All times are local (= UTC + 9 hours)

10/1992 (BGVN 17:10) Small zone of discolored water

A zone of discolored yellowish water 30 m [wide] and [6 km long] was observed by fishing crews at around 1100 on 7 October. A JMSA overflight on 9 October showed no anomaly. The volcano last erupted in 1916, ejecting tephra. Discoloration was seen at the shore and near the island in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1989, and August 1992.

Information Contacts: JMA; JMSA.

10/1992 (BVE 32) Discolored water with sulfur odor reported by fishing boat

[The following provides additional information about the 7 October 1992 observation.]

"Shira-ne, a small rock mass of two pyroxene andesite 7.7 m below sea level, located about 7.5 km NE of Smith Rocks and about 500 km S of Tokyo, forms an E part of a submarine caldera about 8 km in diameter (figure 1). Smith Rocks, 136 m a.s.l., forming S rim of the caldera are of olivine basalt.

Figure 1. Submarine topography of Shira-ne and nearby area.

"On October 7, 1992, yellow discolored water smelling sulfur was reported by a fishing boat, Daini-Odamaru, suggesting a submarine volcanic activity. The area of discoloration was 6 km long and 30 m wide."

"Reference: Hydrographic Department, Japan Maritime Safety Agency (1992): Recent activity of submarine volcanoes and volcanic islands. Rept. Coordinating Committee for Predication of Volcanic Eruption, No. 54, p. 77.

"(Communication from: H. Furukawa, Japan Maritime Safety Agency, Tsukiji 5-3-1, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104, Japan.)"

Reference. Bulletin of Volcanic Eruptions, 1995, Annual Report of the World Volcanic Eruptions in 1992: Volcanological Society of Japan, no. 32, p. 134-135.

Sumisujima (also known as Smith Rocks) is a steep-sided basaltic pinnacle that forms part of the outer southern flank of a 8-9 km wide submarine caldera that truncates a 20-km-wide seamount. The caldera was formed between about 60,000 and 30,000 years ago. The Shirane dacitic central cone, 3 km wide and 800 m high, rises to within 8 m of the sea surface in the eastern side of the caldera, whose 600-700 m high walls and outer flanks expose basaltic, andesitic, and rhyolitic rocks. Two large submarine cones, Sumisu Knolls No. 1 and 2, lie west of the caldera. Submarine eruptions have been reported from a number of locations near 136-m-high Sumisujima, the last of which occurred in 1916. Water discoloration has been frequently observed since the 1970's. In October 1992, a 6-km-long zone of discolored water was seen extending from the shallow Shirane rock mass near the eastern rim of the caldera, which rises to within 7 m of the sea surface and is the youngest feature of the volcanic complex.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 2005 Mar 8 ] [ 2005 Mar 8 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 2003 Nov 6 ] [ 2003 Nov 6 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 2002 Sep 4 ] [ 2002 Sep 4 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 2001 Oct 31 ] [ 2002 Feb 28 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 2000 Oct 30 ] [ 2000 Oct 30 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1998 Oct 27 ] [ 1999 Jan 13 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1997 Nov 21 ] [ 1997 Nov 21 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1996 Jan 22 ] [ 1996 Jan 22 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1995 Jul 5 ] [ 1995 Jul 7 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1994 Jul 27 ] [ 1994 Jul 27 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1994 Jan 17 ] [ 1994 Jan 17 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1993 Sep 8 ] [ 1993 Sep 10 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1992 Aug 5 ] [ 1992 Oct 7 ] Uncertain 0   Shirane (7.5 km NE of Smith Rocks)
[ 1991 Nov 5 ] [ 1991 Nov 5 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1989 Jul 18 ] [ 1989 Jul 18 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1989 Jan 18 ] [ 1989 Jan 18 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1977 Oct ] [ 1977 Oct ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1976 Aug ] [ 1976 Aug ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1975 Aug 13 ] [ 1975 Sep 26 ] Uncertain 0  
[ 1974 Jul 6 ] [ 1974 Jul 6 ] Uncertain 0  
1916 Jun 21 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Just west of Smith Rock
[ 1873 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   31.28 N 139.92 E
1870 May Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations 18 km SW of Smith Rock
[ 1672 (?) ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   31.58 N 140.25 E

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Sumisu-jima | Sumisu-sho | Smith Rocks

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Shirane Submarine cone -8 m
Sumisu Dai-ichi Knoll
    Sumisu Knoll No. 1
Submarine cone
Sumisu Dai-ni Knoll
    Sumisu Knoll No. 2
Submarine cone
Sumisujima Cone 136 m 31° 26' 9" N 140° 3' 13" E
Wave erosion has exposed the spectacular stratigraphy of Smith Rock, a steep-sided pinnacle that is a remnant of the outer southern flank of a 6-9 km wide submarine caldera. Intrusive rocks, dikes, tephra layers, and breccias are visible in this view of the eastern side of the 136-m-high pinnacle. Submarine eruptions have been reported from a number of locations near 136-m-high Smith Rock, the last of which occurred in 1916. Water discoloration has been frequently observed near Smith Rock since the 1970s.

Copyrighted photo by Kenichiro Tani, 2002 (Japanese Quaternary Volcanoes database, RIODB, and Geol Surv Japan, AIST,
Geologists stand on the narrow cobble beach at the NE base of Smith Rock. Vertical light-colored dikes cut intrusive rocks at the lower right and oxidized tephra layers, breccias, and lava flows forming the 136-m-high pinnacle. The spire is an eroded remnant of the subaerial pre-caldera volcano on the outer southern flank of a large submarine caldera. A large segment of the eastern side of the pinnacle slumped into the sea in the past decade.

Copyrighted photo by Kenichiro Tani, 2002 (Japanese Quaternary Volcanoes database, RIODB, and Geol Surv Japan, AIST,

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Japan Meteorological Agency, 1975. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan. Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency, 119 p (in Japanese).

Japan Meteorological Agency, 1996. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (second edition). Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency, 502 p (in Japanese).

Japan Meteorological Agency, 2013. National Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes in Japan (fourth edition, English version). Japan Meteorological Agency.

Kudo T, Hoshizumi H, 2006-. Catalog of eruptive events within the last 10,000 years in Japan, database of Japanese active volcanoes. Geol Surv Japan, AIST,

Kuno H, 1962. Japan, Taiwan and Marianas. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 11: 1-332.

Nakano S, Yamamoto T, Iwaya T, Itoh J, Takada A, 2001-. Quaternary Volcanoes of Japan. Geol Surv Japan, AIST,

Shukuno H, Tamura Y, Tani K, Chang Q, Suzuki T, Fiske R S, 2006. Origin of silicic magmas and the compositional gap at Sumisu submarine caldera, Izu--Bonin arc, Japan. J Volc Geotherm Res, 156: 187-216.

Smithsonian Institution-GVN, 1990-. [Monthly event reports]. Bull Global Volc Network, v 15-33.

Tamura Y, Tani K, Ishizuka O, Chang Q, Shukuno H, Riske R S, 2005. Are arc basalts dry, wet, or both? Evidence from the Sumisu caldera volcano, Izu-Bonin Arc, Japan. J Petr, 46: 1769-1803.

Tani K, Fiske R S, Tamura Y, Kido Y, Naka J, Shukuno H, Takeuchi R, 2008. Sumisu volcano, Izu-Bonin arc, Japan: site of a silicic caldera-forming eruption from a small open-ocean island. Bull Volc, 70: 547-562.

Yuasa M, Murakami F, Saito E, Watanabe K, 1991. Submarine topography of seamounts on the volcanic front of the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) Arc. Bull Geol Surv Japan, 42: 703-743.

Yuasa M, Nohara M, 1992. Petrographic and geochemical along-arc variations of volcanic rocks on the volcanic front of the Izu-Ogasawara (Bonin) Arc. Bull Geol Surv Japan, 43: 421-456.

Volcano Types


Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Andesite / Basaltic Andesite


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Sumisujima Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.